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Archive for April, 2019

What to Expect When Charged with Domestic Violence

April 25th, 2019 at 8:37 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois domestic violence lawyer, Being accused of domestic violence can be terrifying. It is likely that your accuser is someone you love, and there is a possibility you could end up with a criminal record. Not knowing what is going to come next is one of the most frightening aspects of the entire process.

While each domestic violence case is different, there are a few similarities they all share. They all typically begin with a phone call to the police, reporting the domestic violence. It is important for anyone to understand that once this happens, the decision to lay charges does not rest with the alleged victim. When police respond to a 911 call to report domestic violence, they must make an arrest. After the arrest is made, the accused will face a number of hearings and possibly a trial.

The Bond Hearing

When people are accused of committing a crime, they are often able to post bond or bail. This releases them from the police station until they have their first hearing in front of a judge. According to the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure, however, bond is not possible for those accused of domestic violence. At least, not right away.

Instead, defendants must wait for a bond hearing when they will appear in front of a judge. There is no law that states this must happen right away. Often defendants must wait until the following day, or even until the following Monday if there were arrested during the weekend.

At the hearing, a judge will only determine if the defendant is eligible to post bond, how much it should be, and whether or not to issue a protective order. The judge will consider the defendant’s criminal history and the seriousness of the alleged crime.

When a judge allows the defendant to post bond, they still cannot have any contact with the alleged victim for 48 hours. This remains true even if the alleged victim wishes to see the defendant.

The Status Hearing

The status hearing is held to determine if the case is going to trial. The court will call upon the victim to make an appearance. When the victim fails to appear, this is often enough for the courts to dismiss the case. If the court still wishes to speak to the victim, they will sometimes schedule another status hearing.

There are some cases a judge may decide to take a case to trial even if the victim was not present at the status hearing. These include when the defendant has confessed, or there is substantial evidence against the defendant.

The Trial

If an alleged victim comes forward and wishes to testify, the case will most likely move to trial. A judge will set a trial date, but this does not necessarily mean that the case will go before a jury. At this time, the defendant can ask their attorney to negotiate a plea bargain deal with the prosecution. For those that do not want to take their chances at trial, this option allows the defendant to enter a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Charged with Domestic Violence? Call the Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer that Can Help

The process after being charged with domestic violence is a lengthy one, and no one should handle their case alone. An experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help anyone charged build a strong defense and possibly even get all charges dismissed. If you were charged with domestic violence, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. Cases involving domestic violence charges move quickly, and there is no time to waste. Call today for your free consultation so we can start reviewing your case.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=59&ActID=2100

When Does Burglary Become a Serious Felony?

April 18th, 2019 at 8:32 pm

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois theft lawsRecently, thieves broke into a Lincoln Park bike shop. It is estimated that approximately $20,000 in merchandise was stolen. It was also the second time in the same month the shop was targeted. Police do not yet have anyone in custody for this latest crime that seems to be part of a rash of burglaries in the same neighborhood.

Some may consider this burglary, while others may consider the value of the goods stolen and think it is a burglary, but one with a more serious charge. The confusion begs the question, when does burglary become a serious felony in Illinois?

The Crime of Burglary in Illinois

Under Illinois law, burglary is defined as the act of entering a structure illegally with the intent to steal property or commit another serious felony. Normally, burglary is charged as a Class 2 felony, regardless of the amount of goods stolen. This means that the crime is always a felony.

Felonies are always considered more serious than misdemeanor crimes. The penalties for burglary in Illinois are severe, with those convicted facing anywhere from three to seven years, depending on the case. However, there are circumstances that can make felonies even more serious and increase the charge to a Class 1 felony.

When Burglary Becomes a Serious Felony

According to the legal statute, there are many structures that could amount to a burglary charge if someone breaks into them. Sheds, vehicles, aircraft, watercraft, and railroad cars are just a few of the structures outlined in the law. These would all fall under the category of Class 2 felonies, the lesser charge for burglary.

Certain structures can make a burglary a Class 1 felony, though. These include schools, daycares, or other child care centers. When these structures are broken into, the charge of burglary will increase and so too, will the penalties. The sentences for this crime if convicted is a maximum prison term of 15 years.

Other Factors Leading to Serious Felony Charges

In addition to defining the type of structure that was broken into, the prosecution will also take other factors into consideration. For example, if tools were used during the burglary, this can also lead to serious felony charges.

Considering that the thieves in the Lincoln Park bike shop case cut through the locks on the doors as well as the locks securing the stolen bikes in the store, it is reasonable to think they had these tools that will increase their charge if caught.

Those Charged Need the Help of a Burglary Lawyer in Rolling Meadows

Facing a charge of even a Class 2 felony has serious consequences. Those penalties become even more serious when the charge is increased. Anyone facing these accusations must speak to a dedicated Rolling Meadows burglary lawyer for help. If you have been charged with burglary, regardless of whether it is considered a Class 1 or Class 2 felony, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. There is a possibility that you could have your charges reduced, and we can provide you the strong defense you need. We also offer free consultations, so call today and we will begin discussing your case.

 

Sources:

https://abc7chicago.com/$20k-in-merchandise-stolen-from-lincoln-park-bicycle-shop/5144942/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

When Is Meth Possession a Felony in Illinois?

April 11th, 2019 at 8:27 pm

Illinois drug crimes lawyer, Illinois defense lawyerThe drug laws in Rolling Meadows and throughout Illinois are often confusing, and the line between a misdemeanor drug charge and a felony charge can become blurred. Most of the time, the charge that is laid depends on the scenario surrounding the alleged crime.

There are instances though, in which a drug crime is automatically a felony. Typically a harsher charge is laid when there are large volumes of a controlled substance involved, or when the crime includes certain substances. LSD, cocaine, and heroin are a few drugs that automatically make a crime a felony. Methamphetamine, or meth, is another.

Methamphetamine Laws in Rolling Meadows

According to 720 ILCS 646/60 of the Illinois statutes, meth crimes are always charged as a felony. This means that even when a person is caught with the smallest amount on them, and they did not intend to distribute the drug, they will face felony charges.

The law imposes such strict charges and penalties on those caught with meth because it is a very dangerous drug. It is incredibly addictive and exposes those that use it to toxic chemicals. Manufacturing the drug is also particularly dangerous, which is why the law also outlines severe penalties for anyone that does.

Methamphetamine Possession Felony Charges

The crime of meth possession is the most minor meth crime of all in Illinois. These are still treated as felonies. Individuals charged with meth possession face a number of possible charges, depending on the amount they were carrying at the time of arrest.

  • Class 3 felony for any amount under five grams;
  • Class 2 felony for any amount of at least 5 grams, but under 15 grams;
  • Class 1 felony for any amount of at least 15 grams, but under 100 grams; and
  • Class X felony for any amount over 100 grams.

When charged with a Class X felony, the penalties will increase even more if the amount was over 400 grams, and then again on any amount over 900 grams.

Penalties for Methamphetamine Possession in Rolling Meadows

With meth possession being the most minor of all meth crimes, it makes sense that these also carry the lightest sentences. However, anyone charged with a meth crime in Rolling Meadows must understand these sentences are still very severe.

A Class 3 felony offense, the least severe of them all, still has a potential sentence of two to five years in jail. A Class 1 felony offense carries a much longer prison sentence of 15 to 30 years in jail. Class X felonies, although rarely charged in meth crime cases, can send someone to prison for several decades if they are convicted.

Been Charged with Meth Possession? Call a Rolling Meadows Drug Crime Lawyer

Being charged with meth possession, or any other meth crime, is very scary. Those accused begin to worry about their future and what it may hold for them. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can help ensure that future is a little brighter. If you have been charged with a meth crime, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We know how serious the charges are that you are up against, and we will build a strong defense against them. Do not wait for representation when you can call and get a free consultation right now.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072006460K60

https://www.iwu.edu/counseling/Illinois_Drug_Laws.htm

Is There a Lookback Period in Illinois for DUIs?

April 4th, 2019 at 8:22 pm

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois DUI attorneyMany states have a lookback period for DUI convictions. A lookback period, which is typically five to 10 years, indicates the amount of time a DUI conviction remains on a person’s driving record. This is helpful for those charged with subsequent DUIs because the prosecution and courts can only see DUIs within that timeframe. If a person was convicted of a DUI but the conviction took place longer than the lookback period, that DUI is not considered during sentencing.

So, is there a lookback period in Illinois for DUIs?

Lookback Period in Illinois

Unfortunately, in Illinois, there is no lookback period for DUIs. If a person is convicted of a DUI, it remains on their permanent driving record. This means the prosecution and judge can charge for a subsequent DUI no matter how long ago the first conviction occurred.

However, the courts will still take into consideration the length of time between a first offense and subsequent offenses when revoking a person’s driver’s license. For this reason, it is important anyone charged with a DUI speaks to a Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer that can help them beat the charges and continue to enjoy an unblemished permanent driving record.

Court Supervision

After being found guilty of driving under the influence in Rolling Meadows, the best chance a person has at avoiding jail time and high fines is court supervision.

When a judge sentences a person to court supervision, the defendant will have certain requirements and obligations they must meet. The court will then supervise that person for a period of time to ensure they are fulfilling those obligations, such as community service. Once a person can complete their court supervision successfully and without further incidence, the charges are dismissed without a conviction.

It is important that anyone sentenced with court supervision for a DUI understands this is only possible after their first DUI. Any subsequent DUI convictions are not eligible for court supervision, even if the defendant was not ordered to court supervision previously.

It is also important for all drivers in Illinois to understand that court supervision is not only possible for first-time DUIs, but also first offenses of reckless driving. The stipulations of court supervision remain the same regardless of the charge a person is facing.

Driver’s License Revocation

While Illinois may not have a lookback period for DUIs, the length of time in between subsequent DUIs does have an effect on how long a person’s driver’s license is revoked.

First-time DUI convictions will result in a person losing their driver’s license for one year. If a person is then convicted a second time of a DUI, their license is revoked for five years, but only if 20 years have passed since their first DUI.

The only subsequent DUI convictions that will not have any effect on the amount of time a person loses their driver’s license are third and fourth convictions. After a third DUI, a person will lose their license for 10 years, regardless of how long it has been since their last DUI. After a fourth conviction, a person loses their driver’s license for the rest of their life.

Without a Lookback Period, Anyone Charged with a DUI Needs a Rolling Meadows DUI Attorney

In Rolling Meadows, even one DUI conviction has serious consequences. Not only will individuals go a year without their license, but they will also have a permanent mark on their driving record. They could even have a permanent criminal record. For these reasons, anyone charged with driving under the influence needs a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer that can help them build a solid defense. If you have been charged with a DUI, you simply cannot take your chances with the wrong lawyer, or try to beat the charges on your own. There is simply too much at stake. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 for your best chances at retaining your license, and your freedom. Do not face the difficulties that come with even just one DUI conviction. Call today for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-6-3.1

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